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Ohio Supreme Court to decide whether Occupy Cleveland arrests were legal
The city says 11 people were arrested back in 2011 because the law requires a permit with a 10 day notification to be on Public Square overnight. The defense says the law is vague.
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
The Ohio Supreme Court will decide whether the arrests of 11 people on Public Square in downtown Cleveland in 2011 violated their First Amendment rights. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.
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The city of Cleveland said the protestors from Occupy Cleveland were arrested for violating a 10 p.m. - 5 a.m. curfew on Public Square.

Connor Nathanson argued for the city of Cleveland, which requires a permit with a 10 day notification to be on Public Square overnight. 

“The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve the condition of the park so that it’s not damaged,” Nathanson said.

J. Michael Murray represents two of the protestors who were arrested. He said the protestors never applied for a permit because the law is overly broad in discouraging spontaneous speech and very vague in how it deals with competing groups that both want permits. 

“They were exercising First Amendment rights in a place where for 150 years was exactly where one goes to give that kind of speech,” Murray said.

The protestors had been near the statue of Mayor Tom Johnson, which is known as the Free Speech Quadrant. The court has no timeline for a decision.

Listener Comments:

LOL. Since when does our Constitutional right to free speech and right to assembly constitute a "threat to damage"? Another BS ordinance by the Cleveland City Council and Mayor Jackson. Time to get rid of this bunch of Freedom haters!


Posted by: Tom (Cleveland) on November 21, 2013 7:11AM
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